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YOU April 2013

THE BETTER YOU We all want to make a difference. We all want to better ourselves everyday. It’s with that intention, Manipal University Dubai hosts its first TEDx conference based on a self-enrichment theme, “The Better You.” This event aims to inspire our student community to push boundaries, develop courage to dream big, connect and create intellectual public domains. TED is a worldwide phenomenon with the sole mission of ‘Ideas worth spreading’ that asks the world’s leading thinkers and change makers to give the talk of their lives. In the same spirit, the TEDx initiative has proven to be one of the best platforms to stimulate local dialogue, inspire people and create change - and TEDxManipalUniversityDubai strives to achieve no less. It’s true that we cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future - allowing them to better themselves as individuals and create a positive change in society. To guide you in the right direction,we have a lovely poster courtesy Zen Pencils that features a quote that we hope you live by. All in all, we hope you enjoy our special TEDx newsletter that compiles stories of inspiration, determination and achievement. Always be “the better you.” Signing off until next year.


organizing team Curator


Megna Kalvani

Joseph John Sabir Haque R.N. Shukul Sangram Pattanayak Sambhram Pattanayak

Student Committee Head Coordinator & Speakers Liaison


Alysa Nair

Suzzette Miranda Mohammed Imtenan Ahsan

Sponsors Liaison


Sadaf Rizvi

Srijita Chattopadhyay Syeda Nawab Fathima

Public Relations Danielle Ferns


Branding & Marketing

Nazneen Naeem Metkar Lemuel Rodrigues Sharmin M. Rasheed

Designer TEDxManipalUniversityDubai @TEDxManipalDxb TEDx ManipalUniversityDubai

Anishka Abraham Saima Merchant Israa Basheer Neha Kalvani

Initiated by the Department of Media & Communication and supported by Manipal University Dubai, TEDxManipalUniversityDubai is primarily a student organized event that allows the final year students specializing in Advertising, Public Relations, Event Management, Journalism, Graphic Design, Television and Video Production to apply their skills by associating themselves to an international event, locally. Special thanks to TEDx, our University management and sponsors who helped us pull this together enabling us to inspire a diverse pool of young minds from different fields of study.






Gayathri Krishnan With songs that range from evocatively low rumbling and moody ambiences to intense anthemic melodies, Gayathri’s voice is her identity. Being the highest reviewed and rated unsigned artist to date by RollingStone Middle East, Gayathri is a champion of the independent movement with a growing and active fan base allowing her to raise $23,000 via crowdfunding campaign to release her debut album ‘The Unknown’ in ten days. Gayathri hopes to trigger change in the attitudes of young individuals by performing her talk about her struggles and strengths as a musician.


Photojournalist residing in Abu Dhabi is the creator of “The Untitled Chair Project” that aims at raising awareness about the dire need for bone marrow donors in the United Arab Emirates, by proposing a portrait photography series about people within varying environments with the common element of an ordinary chair. Sean will talk about how we have the ability to create something valuable for our society out of nothing – all it takes is your will to challenge yourself.

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” Winston Churchill

Dr. Mandar V. Bichu

Neena Nizar Special needs advocate and founder/ director of ‘ABILITY’a drama group showcasing the talents of young adults with special needs. Neena will be sharing her challenging story, reflecting on her ‘never say die’ attitude and encouraging participants to push boundaries, take chances and make the most of life. She is recognized for overcoming physical disability caused due to the rare short bone condition known as Jansen’s Metaphyseal Chondrodysplasia.

Child Specialist by profession but a writer by passion. Over the years he has carved his way and made a significant mark to keep his passion alive no matter what – with over 5 well-acclaimed books to his credit in Marathi and English. His books range from fiction, celebrity biographies to specialist parenting guidance. Dr. Mandar will share his unique journey, struggle of keeping a dream alive and most of all reminding our students that “life is what you make it.”


Do YOU inspire yourself? By Syeda Nawab Fathima

When anybody asks us “What inspires you?” we often answer by naming some famous personalities, some brilliant movie, a well written book or someone in our family, often our parents. Yes, family, movies, books and role models play a key role in inspiring us but until and unless we truly believe in our own abilities, can we truly be inspired to take action? Inspiration means nothing until you act upon it and the willingness to act often comes from within, American President Thomas Jefferson once said, “Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” How we define ourselves reflects on what we think we are capable of doing. We need to learn to inspire ourselves; we might watch an inspirational movie and then think “It’s a movie not real life,” look at a successful personality and think “but he/she are so much smarter or intelligent than me.” So, how do you find inspiration within?

Fight your Fears


Be a Leader Teach someone to do something and tap into your potential as a leader.

Know your strengths Recognize in yourself the strengths you see in other people.

Let go Make a conscious decision to let go of something that doesn’t serve you.

Be ambitious Create a vision board with pictures of all of those things you dream of achieving and write a bucket list of all the things you’d like to do in your lifetime.

Embrace Change

Try something you’ve always assumed you can’t do but secretly want to try.

Make today the day you embrace a new healthy habit that can change your life for the better.

Learn something new


Immerse yourself in learning something new and allow yourself to forget about the limitations of time.

Give yourself a pressure-free day with nothing to do except the things you enjoy.

take a break!


A pull-out poster with a motto to live by.




The loser who never gave up By J. David Atwater

When he was a little boy his uncle called him “Sparky,” after a comic-strip horse named Spark Plug. School was all but impossible for Sparky. He failed every subject in the eighth grade. He flunked physics in high school, getting a grade of zero. He also flunked Latin, Algebra and English. And his record in sports wasn’t any better. Though he did manage to make the school’s golf team, he promptly lost the only important match of the season. Oh, there was a consolation match; he lost that too. Throughout his youth, Sparky was awkward socially. It wasn’t that the other students disliked him; it’s just that no one really cared all that much. In fact, Sparky was astonished if a classmate ever said hello to him outside of school hours. There’s no way to tell how he might have done at dating. He never once asked a girl out in high school. He was too afraid of being turned down or perhaps laughed at. Sparky was a loser. He, his classmate. everyone knew it. So he learned to live with it. He made up his mind early that if things were meant to work out, they would. Otherwise he would content himself with what appeared to be his inevitable mediocrity. One thing WAS important to Sparky, however — drawing. He was proud of his artwork. No one else appreciated it. But that didn’t seem to matter to him. In his senior year of high school, he submitted some cartoons to the yearbook. The editors rejected the concept. Despite this brushoff, Sparky was convinced of his ability. He even decided to become an artist.

the perpetual loser and chronic underachiever. You know him well. Because Sparky’s cartoon character went on to become a cultural phenomenon of sorts. People readily identified with this “lovable loser.” He reminded people of the painful and embarrassing moments from their own past, of their pain and their shared humanity. The character soon became famous worldwide: “Charlie Brown.” And Sparky, the boy whose many failures never kept him from trying, whose work was rejected again and again, is the highly successful cartoonist Charles Schultz. His cartoon strip, “Peanuts,” continues to inspire books, T-shirts and Christmas specials, reminding us, as someone once commented that life somehow finds a way for all of us, even the losers. Sparky’s story reminds us of a very important principle in life. We all face difficulty and discouragement from time to time. We also have a choice in how we handle it. If we’re persistent, if we hold fast to our faith, if we continue to develop the unique talents God has given us, who knows what can happen? We may end up with an insight and an ability to inspire that comes only through hardship. In the end, there are no “losers” with God. Some winners just take longer to develop!

So, after completing high school, Sparky wrote to Walt Disney Studios. They asked for samples of his artwork. Despite careful preparation, it was rejected. One more confirmation that he was a loser. But Sparky still didn’t give up. Instead, he decided to tell his own life’s story in cartoons. The main character would be a little boy who symbolized


Alanna J.Wall

Meet Alanna J.Wall. Born in 2000, Alanna truly is a new millennium girl. She is the founder of “Polished Girlz”. Alanna wanted to combine her love of drawing and nail design for different projects, but was told she was too young to volunteer. Nevertheless, Alanna’s compassionate spirit made her want to share her talents with young ladies that were hospitalized or not feeling quite as “polished”, so she decided to start her own organization. Add a mission of hand washing, infection reduction, and a few likeminded friends, and the “Polished Girlz” were born. Born to Rock, Born to Shine, and Born to Serve!


Photo supplied

Fast forward two years and what started as a single girl with a dream and her mom, has grown into one thousand children served, 150 registered volunteers and several chapters popping up all over the place! Alanna’s vision spreads throughout the United States and is a featured organization in China for the United Nations presentation on Americas Service organizations.

You are never too young to inspire Interview by Srijita Chattopadhyay

How was the conceptualized?





I started Polished Girlz because I loved to polish my own nails, but I felt that all girls deserved to get their nails done. I thought that girls in the hospital and with special needs may not be able to get their nails polished as much as healthy girls, so I wanted to bring a little glitter and sparkle to their lives. I also believe that when our clients nails are polished it will remind them to wash the hands and that hand washing saves lives. Did you face any challenges when you started out? I did not have a great deal of difficulty with support groups and adult centers. After polishing for awhile hospitals and clients with strict rules or those not too keen on the idea were able to see how happy the clients were and how much all of us cared. I worked really hard to train my volunteers to be respectful, and understanding about the rules that were different at each facility and that helped a lot. What experience makes you feel really proud to have started this group? One encounter that makes me proud to have started Polished Girlz is that we get requests by clients who want us to come to their house to polish their child that may be extremely ill. One of our private referral clients was Anna. Anna’s mom contacted us because she wanted us to come and polish Anna’s nails and she knew that Anna was not going to live very much longer. My mom knew Anna was very sick and she offered to go polish her for me and told me I didn’t have to go, but I said no because I wanted to polish her. When we got to Anna’s house my mom polished Anna’s sister and I polished Anna we also gave both of them red Polished Girlz bracelets. About a week later Anna’s mom called and she told us Anna had passed away, but her and her sister both had their nails done and both had on their red Polished Girlz bracelets. Where do you see ‘Polished Girlz” in the near future? In five years, I hope to have at least one Polished Girlz team in every State around the US and many chapters around world. I hope to have polished about ten thousand girls. I want to have the hand washing booklets, I am making with Dayton

Children’s hospital to be in stores so kids have a fun way to learn about hand washing. In five years I want the first Polished Girlz House up and running. The Polished Girlz House will be a place that girls with special needs or that have been hospitalized can go and have a little spa party and spa day, it’s like a compassionate spa. Who makes you “the better you”? That would have to be my parents.They have been my constant source of inspiration that helps me strive to better myself. They both support me 100% and don’t allow me to be afraid of success or failure. I also am inspired by my nail art mentors, Ashley Corporal, AstroWifey, and Miss Pop Nails they are big nail artist and they take the time to teach me anything that I ask. That helps to make the difference between just polishing nails and creating really cool nail art for our clients. Do you ever think of maybe doing a world tour and putting a smile to the faces of hospitalized kids of other nations? I think it would be supper cool to go on a world tour polishing the nails of hospitalized girls or girls with special needs. I would also want to start teams in the other nations so the girls can still be polished even if I wasn’t there to polish with them. Have you ever thought of expanding the program to doing nail art for hospitalized women or maybe go to old age homes and put a smile to their faces? Yes I believe we are all Girlz at heart. We do polish women now, but with the recent interest we also be able to polish at nursing homes as well. What would your message be to our youth, who have the potential to change the world like yourself, but are maybe afraid to come out of their shell or who are just lazy? The message I would send to kids that want to change the world would be to never give up on their dreams. I would also tell them that their never too young to change the world. And most of all, you can’t be afraid to just go for it even if you don’t get where you want to go, you will learn a lot on the way. If you can’t change the world, you would have atleast made a difference to yourself – and that’s worth the strife.


What does it take Want to be successful? Well, you should familarize yourself with American author, Napoleon Hill’s 15 principles of success that could be used by anyone in the general population to make progress in their lives. These principles aren’t just concocted out of thin air but are based on over 20 years of research that have been assembled from a series of interviews that was finally compiled in a book, “The Law of Success” published in 1928. The best way to benefit from these principles is to make them a part of your daily routine. You won’t gain much if you try a few of them once or twice and then revert back to the opposing habits that cancel them out. This is the reason why all of them are presented as habits that are to be mastered gradually over time.

1. Definiteness of Purpose – The habit of focusing your actions and thoughts on one high and desirable goal in life 2. Mastermind Alliance – The habit of working in complete harmony with others for the attainment of a specific objective 3. Going the Extra Mile – The habit of doing more than is required of you with the expectation of receiving greater compensation from direct or vicarious sources 4. Applied Faith – The habit of acting as if you already have what you want in life generally agreeable and friendly with people 5. Personal Initiative – The habit of starting tasks that are important to you and seeing them through to completion.



Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously Osho

The Magic of Believing Claude M. Bristol

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff Richard Carlson

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Steven Covey

Understand how fears originate and how to find the courage to face them. Osho proposes that whenever we are faced with uncertainty and change in our lives, it is actually a cause for celebration.

The book answers how to convert your dreams into achievements, the need for positive thoughts and how ‘belief’ can only make things happen the way you want.

Presents common-sense advice for living a less hectic and more meaningful, loving life. Don’t get caught up in “the small stuff,” but engage in such small acts as paying someone a compliment to writing a letter to a friend.ww

Full of advice on taking control of your life, teamwork, selfrenewal, mutual benefit, proactivity, and other paths to private and public victory that will enable you to be a better individual.

to be successful? 7. Positive Mental Attitude – The habit of looking for the positive side of every situation in life—especially during times of turmoil and adversity

of learning from adversity and defeat and making gradual improvements because of those experiences

8. Enthusiasm – The habit of keeping yourself energized by focusing your life on what you love most

13. Creative Vision – The habit of visualizing the things that you want most and the actions that will help you to acquire them

9. Self-Discipline – The habit of choosing not to make negative choices that willcost you more than you gain

14. Maintenance of Sound Health – The habit of keeping your energy level up by eating healthy food and participating in physical exercise

10. Accurate Thinking – The habit of making decisions and forming opinions that are based on factual information and tangible evidence

15. Budgeting of Time and Money – The habit of taking time everyday to move closer to your definite major purpose and saving money to ensure steady financial growth

11. Controlled Attention – The habit of prioritizing your time and energy to stay focused on what is most important and beneficial


12. Learning from Adversity and Defeat – The habit

INSPIRING TUNES Don’t Stop Believing Journey

Heal the World Michael Jackson

We Are the Champions Queen

Eye of the Tiger Survivor

A 1980s song that rings close to our TEDx theme, “The Better You” as it urges you to chase your dreams, stand up for your rights and never stop believing no matter what obstacles you face. This catchy tune instills belief like no other.

This popular song reminds us of our responsibility to care for our world. Everyday, there are people suffering and dying out there. Just because we’re not in contact with them doesn’t mean it’s not happening. What can you do today to heal the world out there? It all starts with us.

This song is great for celebrating the honour and excitement of achieving one’s greatest goal. Though it may be difficult, and we may falter, striving through to the end, we can truly feel like champions of the human experience.

Written for the movie Rocky III at the request of Sylvester Stallone after Queen had denied him usage rights to “Another One Bites the Dust.” This means “Eye of the Tiger” was designed specifically, fto function as the most inspirational fight anthem of the triumphant underdog.


TEDxManipalUniversityDubai Newsletter  

Newsletter designed for our TEDxManipalUniversityDubai attendees on 9th April that followed our core theme, "The Better You." A compilation...

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